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  USS New Jersey BB-62
USN
Iowa Class Battleship

45,000 Tons
887' 7" x 108.2" x 28.9'
(1943 armament)
9 x 16" guns
20x 5" guns
80 x 40mm AA guns
49 x 20mm AA guns

Ship History
Built by Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, PA. Laid down September 16, 1940. Launched December 7, 1942. Comissioned May 23, 1943 with Captain Carl F. Holden in command. Nicknamed "Big J" or "Black Dragon". Afterwards, New Jersey completed fitting out and crew training in the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea.

Wartime History
Departed for the Pacific via the Panama Canal on January 7, 1944 before reaching Funafuti and joining the 5th Fleet. During January 29 - February 2, 1944 assigned to Task Group 58.2 and a screen for the aircraft carriers flying missions against Kwajalein and Eniwetok.

On February 4, 1944 became the flagship of Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, commander of the 5th Fleet. Next, particiapted as part of the screening force involved in Operation Hailstone attacking Truk to support the American landings in the Marshall Islands. During the raid, New Jersey destroyed a trawler and with other ships helped sink Maikaze while also firing at Japanese aircraft. Afterwards, returns with the Task Force to the Marshalls on February 19, 1944.

Between 17 March and 10 April, New Jersey first sailed with Rear Admiral Marc A. Mitscher's flagship USS Lexington CV-16 for an air and surface bombardment of Mille, then rejoined Task Group 58.2 for a strike against shipping off Palau and bombardment of Woleai. After returning to Majuro, Admiral Spruance transferred his flag to USS Indianapolis.

New Jersey's next war cruise, 13 April – 4 May 1944, began and ended at Majuro. She screened the carrier striking force which gave air support to the invasion of Aitape, Tanahmerah Bay and Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, 22 April, then shelled shipping and shore installations at Truk 29 April – 30 April. New Jersey and her formation shot down two enemy torpedo bombers at Truk. Her 16 inch salvos pounded Ponape 1 May, destroying fuel tanks, badly damaging the airfield, and demolishing a headquarters building.

After rehearsing in the Marshalls for the invasion of the Marianas, New Jersey put to sea 6 June in the screening and bombardment group of Admiral Mitscher's Task Force. On the second day of preinvasion air strikes, 12 June, New Jersey shot down an enemy torpedo bomber, and during the next two days her heavy guns battered Saipan and Tinian, in advance of the marine landings on 15 June.

The Japanese response to the Marianas operation was an order to its mobile fleet, to attack and annihilate the American invasion force. Shadowing American submarines tracked the Japanese fleet into the Philippine Sea as Admiral Spruance joined his task force with Admiral Mitscher's to meet the enemy. New Jersey took station in the protective screen around the carriers on 19 June 1944 as American and Japanese pilots dueled in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. That day and the next would cripple Japanese naval aviation; in this "Marianas Turkey Shoot", the Japanese lost some 400 planes. This loss of trained pilots and aircraft was equaled in disaster by the sinking of the Japanese aircraft carriers Taihō and Shōkaku by the submarines Albacore and Cavalla, respectively, and the loss of Hiyō to aircraft launched from the light aircraft carrier Belleau Wood. In addition to these losses, Allied forces succeeded in damaging two Japanese carriers and a battleship. The anti-aircraft fire of New Jersey and the other screening ships proved virtually impenetrable; two American ships were slightly damaged during the battle. Only 17 American planes were lost in combat

New Jersey earned the US Navy Unit Commendation for service in Vietnam and nineteen battle and campaign stars for combat operations during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Lebanese Civil War and Persian Gulf.

Display
Donated to the Home Port Alliance in Camden, New Jersey,. As of October 15, 2001 permenantly moored at Camden, New Jersey. Open to the public for tours administered by the USS New Jersey BB-62 Naval Museum (Battleship New Jersey).

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Last Updated
September 3, 2013

 

 

 

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